14 Foods You MUST Try in Turkey

Turkish Cuisine has honestly got to be some of my FAVOURITE food in the whole world. It’s safe to say I spend the duration of my time in Turkey walking around with a solid food baby, and you should to. Don’t hold back, try every single one of these delicious Turkish dishes!

 

1. Turkish Apple TeaIMG_1018

First things first- I am an absolute tea fanatic. Nothing excited me more about Turkey then the promise of warm apple tea wherever I went. Honestly, Apple Tea is possibly the most delightful tea that will ever tickle your tastebuds. Luckily for you, there is no shortage of this warm, sweet nectar of the Gods… You will find it in virtually every café, restaurant and house you go to. Tea (or çay) is a very big part of Turkish hospitality. You will find that even shop owners sit down for a cup of tea with their customers! Now there is a good sales technique.

 

 

2. Manti (Turkish Ravioli)Manti (Turkish Ravioli) (1)

Pasta-lovers, prepare yourself. Turkey has its own version of Ravioli! Little handmade dumplings are filled with ground lamb or beef, and then topped with a creamy yogurt sauce. Manti takes a lot of time to prepare, but once you have tasted a bite, you’ll see why the hard work pays off!

 

 

3. İskender KebabIskender Kebab

Don’t leave Turkey without trying one of the most popular (and delicious) meat dishes in the Northwest. A play on the traditional Döner kebab, this dish consists of thinly sliced lamb served with a warm tomato sauce over pieces of traditional bread. Topped off with generous helpings of yogurt and butter, you’ll be left licking your plate clean.

 

 

4. Turkish DelightIMG_0894

Do not be fooled by the pink, sugary imitations you may have sampled in the past- Turkish Delight in Turkey (or Lokum, as the locals call it) is like nothing you’ve ever tried before. Consisting of mouth-watering combinations of chopped dates, pistachios, walnuts or hazelnuts, you will find this treat comes in a range of colourful flavours to suit your tastebuds.

 

 

5. MezzeMeze (2)

Rest assured, you probably won’t leave Turkey without being served Mezze, which is a small selection of dishes commonly served with drinks or before a meal. Turkish Mezze often consists of yogurt with herbs, hummus, rice-stuffed vine leafs (dolmas), meatballs (kofte), eggplant salad (patlican salatsi), white cheese and of course, delicious, warm pide. Could there be a better way to start a meal?

 

 

6. BaklavaIMG_0685

It’s sweet, it’s rich, it’s almost too good to be true. Layers of flaky pastry are complemented by finely chopped nuts and held together by syrupy goodness.  This dessert originates from the Ottoman Empire, and can now be found on virtually every street corner in Turkey. Order one for dessert in a restaurant or grab one on the go- no matter which way you eat it, it still tastes scrumptious.

 

 

7. Shish KebabShish kebab (1)

An absolute classic meal, you’ll find this on the menu at most restaurants. Chicken, beef or lamb is grilled and served on a skewer alongside sides such as rice, salad and fries. It may be simple, but it’s still a tasty meal.

 

 

8. GözlemeIMG_0200-3

Possibly one of the easiest fast foods to find in Turkey, Gözleme is the perfect snack to eat on the go. Similar to a crepe, this savoury Turkish flatbread is made from hand-rolled dough and is filled with various toppings, such as cheese, meat, vegetables or potatoes, then is sealed and cooked over a griddle. Try one of the cheese and spinach variations- you won’t regret it.

 

 

9. Kumpir (Baked Potato)Kumpir (2)

You may have had a baked potato in the past, but the chances are it won’t have been as epic as a Kumpir in Turkey. A giant potato is baked, cut down the middle, then the soft insides are mixed with a generous lathering of butter and a pile of kaşar cheese. You are then presented with an endless mirage of options to put on top of your Kumpir, including yogurt, ketchup, sweet corn, sausage slices, couscous, grated carrot, olives and Italian salads (just to name a few). So much carb-loaded goodness.

 

 

10. Karniyarik (Stuffed Eggplant)IMG_0327-2

Karniyarik is big, warm eggplant stuffed with ground meat, onion, black pepper, tomatoes and parsley. Generally accompanied by Pilaf, this dish is hearty, full of flavour, and perfect for a filling meal.

 

 

11. Pottery KebabPottery Kebab (2)

A little theatre at the dining table never goes astray, and ordering a pottery kebab will certainly bring you an entertaining (and tasty) meal. Meat and vegetables are slow-cooked in a sealed pot, and when it arrives at your table, your waiter will bring out a knife and slice the top of the pot right in front of your eyes!

 

 

12. Corn on the cobIMG_0931-2

You can’t walk far in Istanbul without seeing the billowing smoke of a roadside vendor and the scent of freshly cooked corn. A street food classic, these vendors really know how to perfectly grill corn on the cob. It’s a perfect snack to have on-the-go… Just remember your toothpick!

 

 

13. SimitSimit

Another very popular street food, Simit lies somewhere between a pretzel and a bagel. The cheapest snack you’ll find on the streets, these circular bread are typically encrusted with sesame seeds and can be eaten plain or with preserves like jam, cream cheese or for an extra special treat, Nutella.

 

 

14. Dondurma (Turkish Icecream)IMG_0720

It may look like normal ice cream, and it may even taste like normal ice cream, but Dondurma has a texture unlike any other ice cream in the world. The ingredients used make it resistant to melting and impart a sort of chewiness to the consistency. If these unique qualities don’t convince you to give it a try, then perhaps the sellers will lure you in. Dondurma vendors are known for putting on spectacular shows, spinning around giant masses of ice cream on long paddles and playfully flipping customer’s cones upside down.

 

This post first appeared on Topdeck’s blog The Collective.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Nadirah
    January 17, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Awesome, thanks so much for this list! I can’t wait to taste all of these when I visit Turkey in May!

    I’m most interested to try the tea tbh haha. I love tea so possibly that’s why.

  • Reply
    KRISTYLEEBRENAN
    January 19, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Although I’m vegetarian which limited some of my options I loveeeeed the Turkish food! And Turkey in general, such an awesome country!

  • Reply
    Nicky
    January 26, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    The Pottery Kebab looks delicious. Definitely must try.
    Did you get the chance to try any other sweets?
    Osmanli macunu looks tasty

  • Reply
    Top 10 Things To Do When Visiting Istanbul - Polkadot Passport
    March 30, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    […] It may look like normal ice cream, and it may even taste like normal ice cream, but Dondurma has a texture unlike any other ice cream in the world. The ingredients used make it resistant to melting and impart a sort of chewiness to the consistency. Dondurma vendors are known for putting on spectacular shows, spinning around giant masses of ice cream on long paddles and playfully flipping customer’s cones upside down. For more, check out my post on 14 foods you must try in Turkey! […]

  • Reply
    Miles of Happiness (@milesofhappines)
    April 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    It looks SO delicious I’m now hungry!

  • Reply
    pallaviwashivale
    July 19, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    This was one of the yummiest post on your blog. Can’t wait to land in Turkey

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